"Healthy air protections are under attack, and must be defended to save lives here and across the county".
The Los Angeles region achieved its lowest levels ever for unhealthy ozone days and for year-round particle pollution between 2013-15, but was still ranked worst nationally for ozone pollution, according to the American Lung Association's State of the Air report.
The report, released this week, grades counties on how many days they exceeded federal health standards for ground-level ozone, or smog, and particle pollution between 2013 and 2015. Every city hit its lowest level for ozone. "They can also cause lung cancer and early death", said Dr. Alex Sherriffs, a Fresno-area physician and member of the San Joaquin Valley Air District Board and the California Air Resources Board.
Nationally, the American Lung Association report was optimistic about efforts to curb pollutants from recent years, saying that researchers "found continued improvement in air quality in 2013-2015 in ozone and year-round particle pollution, but an unrelenting increase in risky spikes in particle pollution". The metro area also made the list for the first time for cleanest cities for short-term particle pollution. That's the best rate the county has ever had recorded.
Alongside ozone, particle pollution is one of the most widespread air pollutants.
It was not good news for Imperial County.
Trends show things are headed in a positive direction - especially in upstate NY where no counties received failing marks for air pollution in this year's report.
A new report out, "The State of the Air", done by the American Lung Association shows the majority of our counties have poor air quality.
Trump's budget proposal contains a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including weakening and eliminating the Clean Air Act. They are referring to the Trump administration's proposal to cut 31 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency's budget and "discontinue funding for the Clean Power Plan, global climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs".
Air quality in our region has improved in the past decade, but climate change will make meeting future standards more hard around the country, Stewart said.
Pollutants can cause severe asthma attacks, particularly in vulnerable children.
Those are particulate matter that affects people's health. The association said it was the most recent verified data available.
"That means that over the last three years that the report looked at, 2013 through 2015, there were no bad air days above the standard", Stewart said.
The Cleveland region did experience fewer one-day spikes in particle pollution, however. So if somebody says, 'Oh, just going to the hospital once a year for your lung problem, that's not bad.' Wait a second, it can be if you're the person who has to do it.
"Marin and other costal counties normally get "A's" due to geography, the coastal breezes and the lack of heavy population", said Jenny Bard, director of health partnerships with the American Lung Association.